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Mandatory Use of Seat Belts

July 27, 1985

Well, they've done it (or are about to)! Contrary to the Reagan Administration's goal of "getting individuals to rely less on the government and do more to take care of themselves," there are apparently some superior eggheads in Sacramento, including the "Duke" and Willie Brown, who know what's best for us.

In this "free" society the mandatory seat-belt use measure is about to become law! They say it will save 1,000 lives. Is this visionary figure offset by how many lives are saved by not buckling up?

Four lives in my immediate family were spared because they were not buckled up. Three suffered only minor injuries when they were thrown out of their convertible before it rolled over three times. And convertibles are back! My daughter, the driver, involved in a head-on collision, was thrown out of the car, just before the steering wheel crashed through the driver's seat. She would have surely been killed had she been buckled in. She suffered only minor abrasions. If these accidents happened in my family there must be thousands out there who can relate similar cases.

I do not mean to imply that seat belts are not a good thing. Let the government make safety equipment available and provide us factual statistics, but the decision to, or not to, buckle up must be ours. We do not need Big Daddy's infinite wisdom to protect us.

The decisive benefits of this unenforceable mandate clearly are to those having a monetary interest in the manufacture of seat belts and/or air bags.

ALTHEA LINE

Balboa

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